The Gujarat High Court judge who refused to stay Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in the criminal defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark features in the Supreme Court Collegium’s latest list of recommendations for transfer. Justice Hemant M Prachchhak, in a 123-page verdict passed in July, observed that no case was made out to stay the conviction.
Justice Prachchhak was earlier one of the lawyers defending former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, an accused in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.
Justice Prachak reportedly began practice as a lawyer in the Gujarat High Court, and thereafter went on to work as assistant pleader of the Gujarat government under then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In 2015, after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, he was appointed the Union government’s standing counsel for the High Court of Gujarat, which went on till 2019. In 2021, he was appointed a judge of the Gujarat High Court.